Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Tip #3

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant

tax

Once tax identity thieves have your Social Security number and personal information, they can use them to commit other forms of identity theft, such as opening new financial accounts in your name. For steps you can take to deal with identity theft, go here. Also remember to check your credit report annually at annualcreditreport.com.

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Tip #2

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant

tax

Protect your Social Security number or Medicare card number. Don’t give it out unless you absolutely have to, and make sure you ask why it’s needed, how it’s going to be used, and how it will be stored. Shred documents containing this information that you’re no longer required to keep, such as old tax returns, draft returns, extra copies, and calculation sheets. In addition, research tax preparers and read reviews before you turn your personal information over to them.

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Tip #1

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant

tax

File early in the tax season if at all possible to ensure that you get your refund before identity thieves do. Additionally, make sure that you use a secure internet connection when you file, or that you mail your tax return directly from the post office. This will ensure that your information does not fall into the wrong hands. Learn more here and here.

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FINRA Resolutions: Additional Sales Practices

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant.

In 2015 FINRA has resolved to focus on several areas in order to better serve public investors, including key sales practices. In addition to the specific product-related issues we discussed earlier, FINRA also plans to focus in on other areas of sales practice including supervision rules, wealth events, excessive trading controls, private placements, high-risk brokers, sales charge discounts and waivers, senior investors, anti-money laundering, and municipal advisors and securities. Here is a brief summary of each of these areas of focus. Continue reading

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant

tax

As consumers get ready to do their taxes, the FTC is reminding everyone to be aware of tax-related scams with their Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Tax identity theft happens when someone files a fake tax return using your personal information to get a tax refund or job. You’ll know this has happened because you will receive a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that their records show wages from an employer you don’t know. Continue reading

Wednesday’s Word: Blue Sky Laws

By Darius Wood, Spring 2015 Student Intern

To date, forty-nine states have enacted state laws regulating securities, according to The Practitioner’s Guide to Securities Arbitration, with one notable exception, New York.  The purpose of the state securities laws, also known as blue sky laws, is to protect investors from unknowingly participating in fraudulent and speculative investments. Continue reading

Update: FINRA Proposed Rule Change Concerning Definition of Public and Non-Public Arbitrators

lawBy Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant

As we informed you a couple of months ago, FINRA has filed a proposed rule change (SR-FINRA-2014-028) to amend the definitions of “non-public” arbitrator and “public arbitrator” under Rules 12100 and 131000 of the Customer and Industry Codes. The SEC instituted proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change on October 1, 2014 and requested comments from interested persons. Our Clinic submitted a comment letter on November 6th in opposition of the rule change. Continue reading